Hawaiian WaterSports set up shop with the intention of equipping residents and visitors with everything they need to enjoy the aqua waves and waterways of Hawaii. The shop realized that goal with two locations, each stacked to the gills with surfboards, kiteboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, and books on how to beat mermaids at Marco Polo. Hawaiian WaterSports is an official IKO kiteboarding center and its IKO-certified instructors teach students wind theory and the skills necessary to set up, launch, and ride their own kiteboard. Expert surfers on staff can also take squads of aquatic adventures out into the curling sea for lessons specifically designed to get beginners hanging ten and perfecting balancing technique for future limbo competitions.
Hawaiian performer Chief Sielu is on a lifelong quest to educate and entertain the world about Polynesian traditions, a passion that has taken him to appearances on the BBC, MTV, and the Late Show with David Letterman. Dubbed the "coconut man," the chief immerses all comers in island culture at spectacular luaus. On stage, he and his tribe balance revelry and education with high-energy ritual and knife-dancing performances, participatory dances and art making, and a large supper of Hawaiian staples such as poi and braised surfboard fillets. If you can catch his ear, Sielu might have a lot of stories to share: in the course of his ambassadorial travels, he's lit the Olympic torch in Salt Lake City by throwing a flaming spear and been the subject of the documentary film Chief, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
By foot and by car, Oahu Ghost Tours explores the island's spookiest spots during three unique experiences infused with riveting bits of Hawaiian history. Despite measures to preserve sacred areas, Oahu's growth into a buzzing metropolis has sometimes come at the expense of its ancient past. Buildings stretch skyward atop burial grounds, and roadways weave through caves filled with the remains and cherished stamp collections of beloved ancestors. Through rich storytelling, eyewitness accounts, and expert knowledge in the supernatural, Oahu Ghost Tours' guides lead groups on investigations of those disturbed sites, including the scene of a chilling modern-day murder and the infamous Morgan's Corner.
Honolulu’s azure beaches and lush mountain ranges beckon eyes downward as passengers team up with a commercially rated and FAA-certified pilot to cut through the air on glider tours offered year-round. Seated snugly in a bubble-topped glider plane, passengers and pilots survey panoramic views from up to 3,000 feet above the island's famously scenic North Shore. Surfers wave from the surging whitecaps far below and, on clear days, one can view distant landmarks such as the Kaena Point satellite-tracking station, the volcanic tuff cone known as Diamond Head, and the lava dam that stands between Honolulu and certain destruction. Known for their aerobatic prowess, pilots sometimes offer upside-down views of these and other sights as they guide their gliders through a series of loops and turns. A team of technicians tends to gliders and tow planes as soon as they land, ensuring that each remains safe and ready for the next flight.
One hundred feet beneath the surface of Maunalua Bay, the Corsair⎯a World War II airplane—rests on a sandy floor. Its massive shell and magnetism for schools of soldier fish lures deep-sea explorers to the site every year. As divers propel themselves alongside the plane's wing and fuselage, they get an up-close look at the wreck's current residents, which range from colorful goatfish to reclusive moray eels.
With more than 30 years of experience, the scuba instructors at Waikiki Diving Center lead daily dives to submerged sites such as the Cosair wreck. Earning a five-star Instructor Development Center designation from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the center's team coordinates parties of 12–14 people and takes them out on one of two customized dive boats—The Submariner or Snoopy V—for adventures ranging from snuggling sea turtles to earning PADI open-water certifications. To enhance visitors' experiences, Waikiki Diving Center's crew arranges complimentary shuttle service to and from Waikiki hotels.
From surfing at secluded locations to hiking a private trail to a waterfall at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains, the team at Hawaii Water Sports Center designs excursions so visitors can experience thrills and explore Koko Marina’s pristine waters. USCG captains pilot a Ski Nautique that pulls along bumper tubes and six-person Banana Boats, and professional instructors help visitors master the skills of wakeboarding or water skiing through a six-ball course. Their snorkeling trips take place in Hanauma Bay’s reef-filled waters, and their Maunalua Bay scuba excursions are overseen by PADI-certified instructors and trained master divers. On these trips, they guide students along and point out colorful reef fish, sea turtles, and retired goldfish.